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Managing Sickness Absence

In the light of a recent Court of Appeal decision, businesses should ensure they allow workers to carry over their accrued holiday if they have been on long-term sick leave and have not had the opportunity to take the holiday.

The court held that a worker, who had been on sick leave for an entire year and had not taken any holiday during that period, was entitled to payment for that year’s unused statutory holiday entitlement when her employment was terminated. Her failure to request holiday or ask for it to be carried forward during the previous year did not mean that she lost the right to payment. It is important to remember that employees who are dismissed due to long-term sickness absence are entitled to be paid in lieu of untaken holiday, even where their entitlement to paid sick leave has ended.

Our checklist sets out the steps a business should take if it is considering dismissing an employee for a sickness-related reason.

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